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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 9, 2014 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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should it surprise any of us that the most anti-environmental house majority is once again engaging in science suppression and denial simply because they don't like the findings and where they take us? . apparently the narrative is environmental regulations and rulemaking can only be an abuse. my friend from utah used that word. that's the choice. do you like being abused or not? and i find that not only something i have to reject but i don't think that is in fact the choice we face at all. i think environmental regulation, since we adopted rigorous standards in 1970, and the richard nixon administration, a republican president, has actually served the american public by and large very well. the story my friend from utah tells about the farmer, the beat sugar farmer notwithstanding.
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there may be anecdotes that are compelling and where indeed federal regulators abuse their authority. that does not characterize rulemaking. and it doesn't -- it can't serve as a substitute for protecting, not abusing, the american public. and its environmental safety. we've all grown accustomed to repeated efforts here on the floor to gut important environmental safeguards that protect public health. all told, my friends on the other side of the aisle have had something like 200 votes to block action to address climate change, to halt efforts to reduce air and water pollution, to undermine protections for public lands, coastal areas and the ecology. the bill that will be before us if this rule passes is more of the same. what really should alarm the american public is the house majority's effort to suppress
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and openly reject science. they've done it in denying climate change, they've done it in opposing commonsense protections against mercury, led and arsenic, and today they want to throw out the scientific findings of the proposed clean waterways rule and prohibit them from being used moving forward. where does that end? this no-nothing kind of approach fails the public we are sworn to protect and serve and again abandons the model of environmental leadership going back to the republican days of teddy roosevelt. we as elected officials have to recognize the valuable role science must play in making good public policy. not anecdotes, science. i think neil degrass tyson said it best when he said, the good thing about science is that
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it's true, whether you believe in it or not. let's have science inform our public policymaking and our legislation. i urge my colleagues to reject this rule and the underlying repeat legislation and i yield back. i thank my friend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: i appreciate my friend's from virginia's effort to try and save my immortal soul. you failed. whether it's one person or multiple people being abused, abuse is wrong and unfortunately we have two supreme court decisions that have said the same thing. the agencies abuse their authority. it's time for congress to step in and with that i am happy to yield three minutes to my good friend from texas, mr. gohmert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. r. gohmert: this rule is critical. i have a resolution here adopted by the county commissioner's court and judge
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of saint augustine county and they state the obvious. be it resolved that saint augustine county strongly opposes the new rule to define waters of the united states and that it increases the need for burdensome and costly permitting -- permitting requirements, infringes on private property rights and circumvents the legislative process, thus the will of the people. be it further resolved that congress, not federal agencies, make the laws and therefore any such change in jurisdictional power of the federal government should only occur as a result of passage of federal legislation. we have a power grab in this administration. it goes on and on. that's why it is so critical to rein in his bill, to the e.p.a. in this effort at an oligarchy or actually a monarchy where we just have rules spoken into law, breathed into law in bureaucratic back rooms, taking private property
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rights away. this needs to be dealt with on the floor and that's what this house, republican majority, is trying to do. when it comes to the taliban five, it was very clear from the g.a.o. conclusion that, quote, when d.o.d. failed to notify specified congressional committees, at least 30 days in advance of its transfer of guantanamo bay detainees to qatar, d.o.d. used appropriated funds in violation of section 8111 of the law. and that law goes on in part, says, that none of the funds appropriated are otherwise made available in the act may be used to transfer any individuals attained at united states naval station, guantanamo bay. i've o find out here, seen today, that the taliban brothers over in afghanistan
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the kistan, one with taliban five that have been released, are saying they support and are brothers with the islamic state that is cutting off the heads of american citizens. there is no question that the five murdering and complicit murderers that were released back to the taliban will kill americans again. they will be complicit in killing americans again. even if their hands don't actually do that. so the question i have, and i'll yield to anybody that wants to answer it, what do you call somebody who breaks the , to let law-breaking complicit murderers go free? what do you call somebody that breaks the law to release murderers? i'm glad to yield to anybody hat has an answer.
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madam speaker, hearing none, the listener, those who have ears to hear, should take note. this is a serious violation. it is -- it isn't merely an administrative mistake. this has and will cost american lives. in violation of the united states law. it's time we reined in the law breakers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: madam speaker, i would advise my colleague from utah that i have no additional speakers and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah is ecognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker.
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i'm pleased now to yield two minutes to the gentleman from kansas, to talk about the significant -- this significant issue. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i appreciate the time from my colleague from utah and thank you for the opportunity to be here today. i was at the kansas state fair this past weekend and the number one issue at the fair was, this particular rule coming out of the e.p.a. i stopped by the booth of the kansas farm bureau. i heard it as i walked through the streets of the state fair. ditch the rule. that's what we're trying to do here, to make certain that e.p.a. regulators can't go in the backyards, the farm ponds, the road ditches, every place there might be a drop of water. this is a radical re-definition from the e.p.a., unelected, of course, trying to redefine the current language of the clean water act. mr. huelskamp: it's so radical, madam chairman, that a congress controlled by the other side of the aisle even refused to authorize the changes. so the e.p.a.'s trying to do an
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end run, trying to again rewrite clear law in reference to navigable waters. in western kansas where i farm and where i have most of my constituents, they're worried. what kind of place have we come to in this country in which average ordinary americans, who we work for, who the e.p.a. claims to work for, are worried about those regulators? the state of kansas will continue to regulate these issues. the e.p.a. does not need additional authority. they've stepped well beyond the bounds of the authority we've given them as a congress and i would encourage my colleagues to allow us to proceed, to move forward on this rule and then get to the underlying bill, which is to ditch the rule from the e.p.a. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from oregon, mr.
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walden, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. walden: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my colleague from utah for his leadership on this and many other natural resource issues. all across oregon, farmers and ranchers and other property owners are walking around their land wondering what the e.p.a. will regulate under the proposed rule to expand its clean water act jurisdiction. ranchers in eastern oregon wonder about their stock ponds, wheat growers worry about an intermittent stream adjacent to a field. onion growers are concerned about their irrigation ditches. this proposed rule is based on faulty science. it underestimates the tremendous harm it poses to our rural economies. so it's no wonder people are concerned. town hall meeting i had saturday morning, three of the 30 people there, this was their number one issue. they're involved in real estate, they're very, very upset, very concerned about what this could do. further this regulatory overreach by the e.p.a. blatantly ignores congress'
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repeated rejection of similar legislative efforts to expand jurisdiction. clean water act. of course we shouldn't be that surprised. the e.p.a. has tried this before. they've been rebuked by the supreme court twice in fact, in 2001 and 2006. e.p.a. says this new rule is meant to, quote-unquote, clarify the scope of clean water act. i've heard across my district how the vague language in this proposal creates more uncertainty, not less. more red tape, not less. and for a farm -- and for our farmers, ranchers, property owners and others that utilize our water and resources, it is a huge threat. i've long opposed expansion of this authority, whether through legislation or administrative rulemaking, detrimental action of this size and scope should not be pushed by anyone, much less by unelected bureaucrats. the economies of rural oregon and other communities around the country face enough obstacles already. the broken federal forest policies have strangled our communities, often leaving agriculture to grow jobs and
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combat unemployment rates that now are still in double digits. we don't need agencies in washington erecting more hurdles and creating more uncertainty as our farms and ranchers work to feed the world and create jobs in rural communities. it's time to ditch this rule. so i applaud mr. southerland from florida for writing this bill and i appreciate chairman shuster for helping to bring it to the floor and i urge its passage, stop yet another regulatory overreach by a federal agency out of control, threatening jobs, threatening private property rights, threatening rural communities and our way of life. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. if anyone can be considered an expert on water issues in the united states, it is the chairman of the subcommittee on interior appropriations, as well as a former member of the resource committee, i'm proud to yield two minutes to the
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gentleman from california, mr. calvert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. calvert: madam speaker, there's a clear sense in my district, and i believe around the country, that the constant expansion of the federal government and its bureaucratic red tape is holding back our economy. one of the worst offenders of government is the overreach of the e.p.a. the proposed rule they jointly released with the army corps attempts to regulate waters that were never intended to be covered under the clean water act. and would grant them authority over streams on land, even when the waterbeds have been dry in some cases for hundreds of years. this is a serious threat to both private property rights and our economy. as a chairman of the interior appropriations subcommittee, i've worked along with our subcommittee members to try to rein in e.p.a.'s regulatory overreach. the fiscal year 2015 bill prohibits the e.p.a. from changing the definition of
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navigable waters. it is absolutely critical that we uphold the federal-state partnership and prevent the administration from finalizing a rule that results in the biggest land grab in the history of our country. so we need to support this rule to bring this important legislation to the floor, and i certainly hope that all the members will support it. with that i thank the gentleman for the time and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: madam speaker, i am pleased to recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. ronalders, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from -- rogers, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for to minutes. mr. rogers: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in strong support of the rule and passage of h.r. 5078, the waters of the united states regulatory overreach protection act of 2014. this legislation would stop another unlawful regulatory overreach by the e.p.a. which in this case would expand the definition of the waters of the united states.
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we have all seen this administration believes it can bypass congress to create laws through executive rulemaking. it's flat-out wrong. the administration's proposed rule could have danieling effects on the american property -- damaging effects on the american property rights, particularly those in alabama's largest economic sector, agriculture. expanding of the rule of the e.p.a. to enforce almost all bodies water, including put -- puddles, small ponds and ditch, madam speaker, will have a profound and i fear a very negative impact on those who produce our nation's food and fiber. as we approach the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the u.s. constitution, i want to remind my colleagues the constitution created these three separate but equal branches of government. the congress writes the laws, not the executive branch. this is an issue that congress of elected officials must address, not unelected bureaucrats in washington. i urge my colleagues to stand for commonsense and support h.r. 5078 and i yield back the balance of my time. .
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: does my friend have additional speakers? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: the only one you have to hear from now is me. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, madam speaker. with that i'm prepared to close . the only one he has to hear from is me, so we'll speak to each other right about now. you know, madam speaker, i would have thought -- i was at home over the past month -- that when we came back here that we would be most immediately discussing matters and the to iraq threat from isil and ukraine and the ongoing matters.
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i guess i could twist myself into understanding how the particular measure dealing with the release of prisoners from guantanamo in exchange for the life of sergeant bergdahl could have some relationship to but this t large, morning, while i normally do not look at television in the rly hours, i am not a fan of listening to the talking heads that i have to come here and listen to their heads talk, to that end i did hear this morning the speaker of the house of representatives in his aily briefing on the subject
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f isil -- all of us anticipate tomorrow that president obama will speak to the issue and will give us greater clarity, as needed, with reference to the administration's approach to dealing with this particular subject. i raise it for the reason that i may not get an opportunity to speak further on the floor today or the subject may not be at hand and the continuing resolution, although it may be since funding is going to be an issue, but i was distressed to hear when the speaker was asked and you could not hear the queries from four media representatives but in each instance his statement was that
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they were waiting for a strategy from the administration. i don't think we need to wait for a strategy from the administration, but what i get a little bit tired of is hearing that the administration needs a strategy and they do without having a strategy of their own. it will be similar to health care. we went through all of that business trying to repeal the affordable health care act, and we didn't have a measure come forward from my friends in the majority offering what their plan is. it's easy enough for us here on the house of representatives floor, in our respective offices, in air-conditioned conditions to talk about very complicated matters around the world and then talk about somebody else needs a strategy when in fact we don't have one. the speaker said it and i heard it eight times that the president needed to have a strategy but refused to say that he has a strategy. and we have a responsibility,
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and senator mccain and myself and several others did request that we be called back into session so we could discuss this particular matter and give forth the necessary dialogue for authorization to be followed. madam speaker, we're here for two weeks, essentially, to finish a continuing resolution. the rest of the time we will spend dealing with -- and i repeat -- messaging bills that won't go anywhere. that's what i mean when i say a messaging bill. you know it isn't going to pass, and when you know it isn't going to pass, all you're doing, whether you consider it significant or not, is offering up a message for your base and you're entitled but let's not kid anybody about what we're doing. we need to stop calling this congress the least productive ever because that implies that the congress did something some kind of way or another but not enough.
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in reality, this congress and this house, specifically, far from being unproductive, has actively been destructive and obstructive and detrimental to the interests of hardworking americans. repeatedly trying to undo the fixes to our broken health care system, quite frankly, and offering none. defunding programs that help americans who have fallen on hard times, not even passing measures to extend unemployment insurance. refusing to move on immigration reform and then casting aspersions when it is that all of us know that our immigration system is broken and yet we here in the house of representatives, in this instance, not the senate, who did pass a bipartisan measure, we will not even put an
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immigration measure on the floor and no matter who said that they would do something when, i'm saying that all you have to do is put it on the floor and i promise you that we could pass immigration reform. we refuse to address climate change and all of the naysayers, any way you want -- i spoke to a group that produces energy, along with one of my republican colleagues and one of my democratic colleagues during the break, and during that period of time i said that you know something, something is happening here and you can call it science or you can call it anything you want, but something is happening here. the gentlelady was not here earlier and i'm in closing but i'll be happy to yield a minute to you if there's something you wish to add. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman both for his courtesy and for his time and for his very eloquent words. very quickly what i want to say as i indicated in the rules
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committee, what poor timing for a resolution in the midst of a crisis with isis to be able to criticize the president for using his constitutional powers and now in a debate on isis, why isn't he doing something? the american people are confused. this is the wrong time for the wrong resolution. it has no purpose. i am grateful that sergeant bergdahl is home. we don't leave our soldiers behind. we looked at the heinous killing of our two precious journalists. now we're asking for a great leadership of this administration, which it has been doing, but this resolution is wrong. it is misdirected in law. it is conflicting with law, and we have already addressed the question. i am not condemning the administration. i believe that this resolution should be pulled off the floor, and i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent that i may put my statement into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: continuing, madam friends in the
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majority shut the government down. i didn't think that was helpful. the matters of not dealing with immigration reform and climate change, i don't think it makes our country better. their attempts to mold into a conservative utopia that could never work outside the pages of novels. this is a house whose leadership judges success not by how it has improved the lives of families in this country but how successful it was to thwart the president of the united states. this is a body that would rather be trapped in gridlock than go about the business of the country. so we'll live through these next two weeks, and then we'll return to our districts. what will we tell our constituents that we
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accomplished in the house of representatives in the 113th congress? we'll tell them that we condemned the president for refusing to leave an american prisoner of war behind? how far are we going to follow an extreme fringe minority down this path into poverty? we've got two weeks. once again, house republicans are proving that they would rather put politics, partisan intrigue nd petty first and discredit the president than to govern responsibly and address the many challenges facing our nation. madam speaker, i urge a no vote on the rule and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, again, madam speaker. you know, historically the wise use of water has made the
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desert bloom, but much of my time and some of the most egregious problems that i face deal with the overreach of executive agencies when it comes to water. to claim that their tactics are arbitrary and capricious would be overly generous. the bottom line is the supreme court has twice said the agencies of the -- executive branch agencies have overreached their authority. twice there was legislation to try to expand that authority which failed miserablely, and now what the supreme court said they could not do and congress would not grant them to do, the agencies are trying to accomplish by creating a rule to give them powers that they ought not to have. and that is, i'm sorry, madam speaker, is wrong and the reason it's wrong is because it hurts people, people trying to live their lives, frustrated by executive branch overreach.
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that's why this congress should not only pass this resolution and rule but also the underlying bill and move forward to make sure that congress controls these issues in the future, not an executive branch agency. with that i have to reiterate this rule is fair, the underlying legislation is appropriate, and with that rges madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and prove -- with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to and -- mr. hastings: madam speaker, on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 229 and the nays 179. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on h.r. 5078. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take your conversations off the floor. please take your conversations off the floor. pursuant to house resolution 715 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 5078.
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the chair appoints the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, to preside over the committee f the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 5078 which the clerk will report by title. -- to preserve existing rights and responsibilities with respect to waters of the united states, and for other purposes. the chair: rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, and the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, will each ontrol 30 minutes. the house will be in order. take the conversations off the floor.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to yield two minutes to the congressman from florida, mr. southerland, who is the original sponsor of h.r. 5078, the waters of the united states regulatory overreach act, i think it is a thoughtful legislation and i yield the gentleman two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. southerland: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciates the efforts of you and ranking member rahall which has enhanced this bipartisan piece of legislation. i'd also like to thank subcommittee chairman gibbs for giving this issue an urgent attention that it deserves. for more than 40 years, america's waters have been made cleaner and safer by a balanced regulatory partnership between the states and the federal government. the basis for this partnership was a commonsense understanding that not all waters are subject to federal jurisdiction. and that the states must have
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the primary responsibility for regulating waters within their own boundaries. but now decades of success have been put at risk under the guise of clarifying the scope of the federal jurisdiction. under its proposed rules, federal agencies like the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers would see their regulatory authority under the clean water act drastically expanded to the point of covering almost any body of water throughout america, from ditches to culverts to pipes to watersheds to farmland ponds. this would have devastating consequences on virtually every major section of our economy, including farming, construction, manufacturing, transportation and energy development. that is why i've introduced h.r. 5078, the waters of the united states regulatory overreach protection act of 2014. our bipartisan bill draws the line in the sand that preserves the critical federal-state
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partnership in place today. by preventing the e.p.a. and the corps of engineering finalizing or implementing the proposed rule, we are providing a safeguard against the federal government's overreach into regulatory decisions best made by officials at the state and local levels. we are also requiring the e.p.a. and the corps to consult with the state and local officials to form a consensus proposal on the scope of the future water regulations under the clarkt. -- under the clean water act. this is not anti-environment, this is not anti-clean water. our bill preserves the partnership we've had in place for years to strengthen the health of our waterways and manage our water quality. and it does so in a way that maintains certainty for our job creators. for these reasons i urge all of my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from
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pennsylvania. mr. shuster: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: reserves his time. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. rahall: i rise in strong support of h.r. 5078 and proposing its latest versions of regulations defining waters of the united states, the e.p.a. claims to be attempting to provide clarity. it claims to be attempting to provide certainty for multitudes of americans who have been left perplexed by clean water act jurisdiction for many years. without a doubt, confusing and conflicting supreme court decisions have helped to create a regulatory jumble, bull the e.p.a.'s proposed new regulations are doing little, if anything, to clear and calm those murky and oiling regulatory waters. . these regular lady bulldogses have only stirred up more worry and aggravation and frankly,
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anger. in truth the only certainty that these regulations provide is the shire knowledge that under them -- sure knowledge that under them anyone undertaking any activity involving so much as a ditch in the united states will have to deal with the ureaucracy known as the e.p.a. i stand here today voicing the shear dread and utter frustration of enterprises and individuals across southern west virginia, from coal miners, coal mining families, to farmers, to farm families, to builders and businesses, large and small. we have seen how this e.p.a., we have seen firsthand how this e.p.a. uses its limited legal authorities to drive a broad and growing ideological agenda. we have seen this e.p.a. use permits to threaten our coal industry, browbeat our state,
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and elbow out other federal agencies. we have witnessed this e.p.a.'s cold and callous disregard for how its politically driven agenda is affecting the lives of hardworking west virginia families. the proposed regulations concerning waters of the united states certainly amount to an expansion of e.p.a.'s reach into waters never before envisioned by the congress to be subject to the clean water act. they would stake out the federal government oversight of areas long reserved to the states. if implemented, they would entail more than a power grab. they would result in a land grab . enabling e.p.a. to dictate to more and more citizens just how they can use their own property. i stand with our coal miners, r farmers, our builders, our
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manufacturers, our sit -- citizens needs and they are owed clarity. for the e.p.a. to claim these proposed regulations answer that need, well, one has to wonder what's in the water over at the e.p.a. headquarters? i support the pending measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia reserves his time of the the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's my honor to yield a minute 30 seconds to the chairman of the water resources subcommittee, mr. gibbs from ohio. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. gibbs: i rise in support of h.r. 5078, the waters of the united states regulatory overreach protection act of 2014. i have serious concerns about the administration's proposal to redefine the scope of jurisdiction under the clean water act and the unilateral approach the agency took developing this rule. the agency's attempted to expand their jurisdiction under the
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clean water act will have serious consequences for the nation's economy, threaten jobs, and restrict landowners to make decisions about their property. in my subcommittee hearing earlier this year, we discovered that the e.p.a. could not identify a single state that supports this rule. under the clean water act the states are supposed to act as co-regulators with the federal government and this partnership has enjoyed much success over the years. it is unfortunate that the agencies have chosen to take a closed door approach to this rule making instead of couraging a transparent process working with their counterparts. h.r. 5078 will put an end to the e.p.a.'s overreach and will ensure that any new rule is adopted openly and responsibly and take into consideration and concerns of both the state and local governments and other stakeholders. i strongly urge all members to support this bipartisan bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized.
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mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm very honored at this time, although we are not in full agreement on this measure, to yield four minutes to the distinguished ranking member of our subcommittee on water resources and environment on our transportation committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for four minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend and our ranking member from west virginia for yielding and for his leadership on the t.n.i. committee. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 5078. last session the republican majority pushed through a rider to the energy and water appropriations bill to block this administration from using agency guidance to clarify how they would interpret two confusing decisions of the u.s. supreme court that called into question the protections of the clean water act over our nation as waters. at that time the republican majority claimed that this use of administration guidance was unprecedented and in violation of the law. notwithstanding the fact that
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the previous administration followed the exact same process in issuing two guidance documents which, coincidentally, remain in force today. in fact, it is these two guidance documents that have compounded the confusion on uncertainty earn increased compliance cost faced by our constituents today. don't take my word on this. let me quote from some of the comments made in opposition to the bush era guidance. according to the american farm bureau federation and others, with no clear regulatory definitions to guide their determinations, what has emerged is a hodgepodge of ad hoc and inconsistent jurisdictional theories. that's a quote. again according to the american farm bureau and others, quote, the bush administrationed guidance is causing confusion and added delays in an already burdened and strained permit decisionmaking progress which will result and is resulting in increased delays and cost to the public at large. finally, according to the water advocacy coalition, again i'm
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quoting, a comprehensive set of rules regarding which water bodies the agencies will regulate has promulgated the republican agency field staff will be beleaguered by partial answers, confusing standards, and ad hoc, overbroad, and arbitrary decisions pertaining to the scope of federal jurisdiction. in april of 2011, over 150 members of this house wrote to the environmental protection agency and to the corps requesting that a proposed guidance document of the obama administration be reconsidered. in that letter, these members suggested, and again i quote, if the administration seeks to make regulatory changes to the clean water act, a notice and comment of rule making is required. in the intervening months, this is exactly what the administration has done. in 2012, the administration chose to withdraw the proposed 2011 guidance document and instead pursued a notice and comment of rule making to address much of the confusion, uncertainty, and increased costs
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surrounding the scope of the clean water act protections. however, many of these same members who asked for a formal rule making are now developmently opposed to this rule making going forward. i have to ask why. are these members opposed to providing greater clarity on the scope of the federal clean water act protections in are they opposed to trying to reduce the uncertainty facing our communities while at the same time trying to ensure our network of waters and networks are prevented from pollution and destruction? opponents of this rule making are trying to portray this as a federal attempt to regulate bird barts, puddles, and drive waist, but representatives of the e.p.a. and corps before our committee would confirm that these were never subject to clean water act jurisdiction, nor would they be subject to the act under the administration's proposed rule. in short, this is not a debate about the federal government trying to regulate someone's back bird bath.
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it is about ensuring that those waters and wetland that provide hundreds of millions of americans with their drinking water provide vital protection o our towns and communities, and provide valuable habitat to our native fish and wildlife to be protected. to be fair several of my own constituents have expressed concerned with the substance of the proposed rule. i have listened to their concerns and pressed the agency witnesses who have appeared before our subcommittee on several critical areas. i have questioned the agencies to ensure that the scope of the proposed rule is solely within the confines of the two supreme court decisions on this matter. otherwise such changes would equire an act of congress. mr. rahall: i yield one more minute. that's all. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. bishop: i have asked for agency insurance of this proopposed rule over what was covered by prior rulings of the supreme court. again i have been assured that
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this is the case. i have asked the agency staff to clarify that these proposed rules to not eliminate any existing statutory or regulatory exemptions for agriculture. including activities on prior converted cropland. again we have been assured by the agency that the exemptions for farming, and ranching in the current clean water act remain in place. in my view, this is not a perfect rule. few are. it does provide a process on what clean water protections we desire. to suggest the solution is to throw out this proposed rule and forever leave the regulating community with the current regulatory morass makes no sense. i urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. i thank the ranking member for his indulgence. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the afterwest virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: it's my honor to yield one minute to the chair of the house administration committee, the gentlelady from
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michigan, mrs. miller. the chair: the gentlelady from michigan is recognized for one minute. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, recently i met with about 600 farmers at an annual gathering in my district which we call dinner on the farm, where local farmers express their concerns over the negative impact e.p.a.'s proposed regulations would have on their misses. the michigan farm bureau showed me this map of my district which shows what could be subject to federal regulation if the proposed e.p.a. rule is actually adopted. highlighted are the water sources that would be impacted. it excludes wetlands because then it would cover my entire district, including just about anything that includes moisture. mr. speaker, this is another shocking example of this 5d mcmorris rodgers trying to do an end run around the congress and legislative process with more overreaching regulation that is would drive the food prices for american families by stopping the e.p.a. from expanding their scope and requiring the agency to coordinate with states, this legislation will help to protect this nation's agricultural
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community from federal overreach that threatens their livelihood and ultimately this nation's economic success. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from michigan yields back her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i yield four minutes to a very valued member of our committee and also the ranking member of the committee on natural resource, the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for four minutes. mr. defazio: it's unfortunate that we are here today. we have departed from reality which would be the districts we represent where i just spent five weeks. now we are back inside the beltway and we are doing things in this case at that we know will never become law, but we do have an opportunity to actually to do something real and allay the concerns, legitimate concerns, of farmers, ranchers, and others who feel that the
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e.p.a. is either overreaching or has written a somewhat garbled rule. i would agree with that. but instead of approaching it in measured way and saying we want to be certain that you're not doing this and we want to be certain you're doing this, this would say that anything and everything that they have considered over the last two years in developing this rule is now ineligible for future consideration. what does that mean? it means that the determination that certain things are exempt, well, we probably can't revisit those. can we use the court's decision or any of those documents? seems not. when we end up if this cockamamie thing passes the house and becomes law, which it won't, well, where we end up is back in the earlier era of the
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2003 and 2008 guidance. and many of the groups are here today supporting this unbelievably broad overreach are actually groups who objected strenuously to what the bush administration did in the 2003 guidance and the 2008 guidance. here's a quote from the american farm bureau. 2003, no clear regulatory definition to guide their determinations. what has emerged as a hodgepodge of jurisdictional theories. 2008, american farm bureau, guidance is causing confusion, added delays, and already burdened and strained permit decisionmaking process which ultimately will result and is resulting in increased delays and costs to public at large. on the other side, groups, national wildlife federation, ducks unlimited, also found the objections of the 2003, 2008
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guidance to be totally inadequate. the supreme court itself split 4-1-4 on one of the guiding documents behind it. so instead of wading in, rolling up your sleeves, and acting like legislators you are acting like ideologues today and saying nothing considered in developing this rule can ever be used again to develop a future rule. what does that mean? that means you are stuck with the 2003, 2008 guidance which all these groups found to be disturbingly inconsistent, expensive, causing unnecessary delays, and we need new guidance. we do need new guidance and definition, but there's some who have the agenda that want to repeal the clean water act all together. go back to the good old days when you can light a match and watch the cuyahoga river burn. let's go back to those days before the clean water act. i don't think the american people want to go there, and i don't think a majority in this
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house would want to go there. instead of fixing and limiting the problems and potential defects of this incompetent rule making that's ongoing and is at this point only proposed, perhaps the agency itself will wake up and withdraw and revise the rule, that's what public comment periods are all about. no, we are going to preempt it before then and say nothing that went into developing this rule can ever be considered again in developing another rule. . you're stuck with something that doesn't work which these same groups object to. it's just very sad that we aren't a legislative body anymore. you take someone who has a tough race, you give them a -- ra they go ra, r a and they get re-elected. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania.
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mr. shuster: i ask the gentleman from oregon to go back and read the second part of the bill, last half of the bill and we'll find different perspective on it. with that i yield one minute to the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito. the chair: the gentlelady from -- the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. capito: under the vague regulation proposed by the e.p.a. and the corps, federal power will grow and tie up our agriculture, construction and energy industries and even more red tape. expanding the scope of federal jurisdiction will require many more clean air permits which will mean more permitting delays and more permitting delays means fewer jobs. during the august recess i traveled all across the state of west virginia and met with farmers who were particularly concerned, construction workers, miners and many others who are very is up set about the e.p.a.'s regular lear assault that is -- regulatory
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assault that is costing west virginia jobs. we should reject this and send federal officials to go back to the drawing board to work on a water rule that makes sense for our economy and our environment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i'm very happy to yield at this time to a strong supporter, co-sponsor of this legislation, original co-sponsor of it, the ranking member of the committee on agriculture, mr. peterson, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. peterson: i thank the gentleman and, mr. chairman, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 5078, waters of the united states regulatory overreach protection act. as others have said, h.r. 5078 would prohibit the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers from redefining waters of the united states under the clean water act. the bill would also prohibit
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implementation of the interpretive rule for agriculture which while it probably was meant to provide some clarity to farmers and ranchers only creates more confusion and is bad for agriculture. this legislation is necessary because in my view the e.p.a. does not seem to understand the real world effects that these regulations will have on farmers across the country. we still don't have any clear definition of a wetland in agriculture, an issue that's debting back to the 1980's and 1990's. maps used by usda were unclear then and often mislabeled wetlands. and this rule would not clarify -- not clarified, would add to the uncertainty we are facing in that regard. in my state, the usda conservation service has done a great job working with farmers to encourage voluntary conservation efforts. this rule would severely disrupt those positive efforts. so i urge my colleagues to
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support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from west virginia reserves, and the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: mr. chairman, can i inquire as to how much time each side has left? the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 24 1/2 minutes. mr. shuster: and the other side? the chair: and the gentleman from west virginia has 16 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. barletta: mr. chairman, i rise in support of the bill and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. barletta: for four decades, the clean water act has worked as a strong partnership between the federal government and the states. this bill protects that partnership. against the proposed rule from the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers. i have heard from many of my constituents that this rule would force them to prove that large mud puddles and ditches
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on their property are not federally regulated waters. however, the new definition of federal waters is so vague that it is impossible to know what standards you will need to prove. this rule will cost my constituents time, money and jobs. mr. chairman, i support this bill because sometimes a mud puddle is just a mud puddle. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves, and the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, it's my pleasure to yield at this time to a very powerful lady on the committee on appropriations and ranking member on energy and water development four minutes to the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur. ms. kaptur: i thank -- the chair: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for four minutes. mr. kaptur: mr. rahall for his great leadership and consider it a privilege to speak today. let me inform this house why it
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should vote down this death bill. yes, death bill. this is a jar of algae. toxic to humans and animals. it was just drawn from lake erie, one of our great freshwater lakes, the drinking source for some 11 million people. n august 2, this green muck, filled with toxic microsystems surrounded the toledo drinking water intake leaving over half a million people with no safe drinking water for three days. it almost seemed surreal. one of america's biggest cities and regions with no fresh drinking water. now, the region that our watershed drains is 85%
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agricultural. how fortunate we are. in fact, it's the largest watershed in the entire great lakes, but allowing farm field runoff of manures and fertilizers applied at four times the rate a decade ago, with excessive phosphorus that feed the green muck is simply no longer acceptable. the number of people who live in this tristate watershed totals two million, ohio, indiana, michigan and, of course, canada. but the number of animals in to 10 to ed is five 15 times more and the manure load to those animals compared to 20 years ago spread on the land, even in the wintertime, contributes with increasing rainfall to the pollution that then drains to places like
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toledo. utility rates are going up because seniors -- what are they going to do? how can they afford the bills to pay to clean up the pollution from a tristate and indeed international waterway? instead of helping clean up or water for future generations, this republican bill takes america backwards. you know what i say, shame on you. shame on you. today, the united states environmental protection agency recognize that harmful algal blooms is a major problem in all 50 states with severe impacts on human health. the toledo water plant and what happened to us is a severe warning for our country, and we better pay attention. communities are incurring massive costs for water treatment as a result of pollution and toxic algae because our water plants have to somehow clean this up and send fresh drinking water to our citizens, and these costs
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are being paid not by the polluters but by the ratepayers downstream. how unfair. i'm back here in washington fighting for our lake. our citizens must turn this green muck back into blue water, to sustain life itself, and one of the ways we start is by defeating this bill. it's an embarrassment to the country at this point in our history, and i can tell you to the people who still don't know what their future holds in places like toledo and along lake erie, i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill, reject the dead water direction in which it leads. because it isn't just this generation but it's those that follow we should be voting for here in this house. i urge defeat of this measure, and i want to thank congressman rahall and those who understand what it takes to build a great nation and do something worthy in our time and generation. i yield back any remaining time
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to the gentleman. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield one minute to the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. mullen. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for one minute. mr. mullen: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of h.r. 5078, as you've heard -- mr. mullin: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of h.r. 5078. back in my home state of oklahoma, ranchers and farmers have been very clear this rule would significantly limit their operations. as a rancher myself, i understand and agree with their concerns. the definition of navigable waters as stated and written by the e.p.a. would put all farmers and ranchers on notice that they are no longer in charge of their own land. from now on, they'll have to ask permission to get a permit or to operate their own land the same way they have for many years. in summary, this would be an unprecedented land grab by our government through the e.p.a.
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and bureaucrats of washington, d.c. the e.p.a. is simply out of touch with rural america. i stand with our farmers and ranchers when i say it's time to stop the e.r.a.'s overreach and the redefinition of navigable waters. mr. chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. and the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield at this time to a gentleman that's leaving this august body but certainly we will continue to rely upon his wisdom and friendship, except on this particular bill, i'll yield him four minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, who is the ranking member of the subcommittee on interior and environmental and committee on appropriations. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for four minutes. mr. moran: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank my good friend from west virginia, and i understand where we sit is
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where we stand. the gentleman has always been in the forefront of protecting his citizens of west virginia and his work force, including the mine workers of west virginia and i fully understand that. but nevertheless, i rise in opposition to this regressive legislation. very few days remaining before this chamber adjourns, we are wasting what limited floor time remains debating a legislative proposal that this chamber has already passed and the senate has rejected. today we will be voting for the 218th time, the 218th time this session to weaken existing laws that protect our health and the environment that we depend upon. later this week, we will vote for the 53rd time to weaken the caroline wozniacki, which the american people -- weaken the affordable care act, which the american people are beginning to realize is actually working
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on their behalf. and none of these measures that have passed this session or will pass the house this week will become law. the president has already said if it passes he will veto it. and my friend knows that. he in fact reminded me, we know he's going to veto that if it were to pass, so you would think this is kind of a misguided and wasteful use of this institution. we're planning on only six full legislative days before the election, and we are using one of those days on such a fruitless exercise. how about addressing the problems at our border or passing an extension of unemployment benefits or even passing a budget, which is one of our most basic responsibilities? but instead of doing something useful and productive that might become law, we'll again vote an a measure to prevent the corps of engineers and the environmental protection agency from finalizing their joint proposed rule clarifying the limits of federal jurisdiction under the clean water act.
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this is what the supreme court instructed us to do. this rule is necessary. it's our responsibility. e.p.a. and the corps of engineers need to clarify their authority because there's a lot of confusion on what falls under the protection of the clean water act following two supreme court rulings. clarity will also help the states that use the federal definition to operate their state water protection programs. 90% of what the e.p.a. does is in fact carried out by the states. the proposed rule clarifies that most seasonal and rain-dependent streams are not affected. wetlands, their rivers and streams are not included. and other types of waters that have -- may have more uncertain connections with downstream water will be evaluated through a case-specific analysis of whether the connection or is not significant. . p ep and the court have encouraged recommendations to
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determine how best whether a water body has a connection to down stream waters. my colleagues, an estimated 59% of all stream miles in the lower 48 states fall into the category of intermittant, they don't exist for part of the year. yet they receive 40% of all individual wastewater discharges. that's what the problem is. more than 117 million americans get some of their drinking water from these very streams that don't flow year-round. shouldn't their drinking water be safe from toxic elements? if this measure were to be enacted, it would only ensure that the confusion continues. and that these sources of drinking water remain a serious risk to the public's health. that's why i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the afterwest virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman.
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it's my pleasure to yield one minute to the republican leader, mr. mccarthy of california. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today against an unlawful expansion of federal power. the e.p.a.'s attempt at an unprecedented power grab will ultimately saddle the hardworking americans, small businesses, farmers, with new onerous regulatory burdens. under this proposed new rule, the e.p.a. will be able to claim jurisdiction over almost all bodies of water in the u.s. so along with the bays and rivers, e.p.a.'s hand will extend over streams, ponds, ditches, and even storm water runoffs. beyond sounding ridiculous, this rule will impact farmers, energy producers, and private citizens that use their land or economic or recreational purposes.
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it is harmful and unnecessary. now, i live in the west. the west is burdened right now with a drought. some of that drought is based upon excess regulations. they pick a fish over people. that water will run out to the ocean because of the regulation and a lawsuit. now, i have seen where regulatory effects and burdens have gone before. i have a town in my community called taft, a hardworking town like many of you have. the e.p.a. has been a part of it before. it's a town that could be anywhere in america. it had a waterway that the e.p.a. said, it was called sandy creek. the only challenge, though, in sandy creek, it was a dry ditch. it had been dry for 30 years. so when they came to me and they wanted to be able to move
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forward, they found that the federal government was trying to impose a permitting regulation of excess regulation on this rivate land. i had to personally call and they said no, you could not do it because of the creek. i had to bring an individual all the way out, drive them out to the dry dirt, sit them in the dry creek bed, until finally they said yes. ll, under the new bill, in fact sandy creek will not be dry any more from the aspect that the burdensome regulation will be back on them. it could be redesignated and we ill not be able to grow again. mr. chairman, we are struggling with job creation in america. we are struggling where small businesses are trying to make ends meet.
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milk price is at an all time high. why would we burden america with more regulation? why would we not unshackle what holds us back and let us be able to grow and let people keep their private lands and protect our water, but do it in a sense that has common sense. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield at this time to a gentleman that is a co-sponsor of this legislation -- original sponsor of the legislation, and has been a tremendous help with us in moving this forward, he is on the agriculture committee, the gentleman from illinois, mr. inquart, is recognized. the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, today i rise in support of this legislation and
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to share my concern about overreaching jurisdiction in the proposed rule making expanding the reach of the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers. mr. enyart: i have spent the last five weeks talking to constituents in my district, meeting with landowners, discussing legislation with my agriculture advisory committee, and talking to leaders from small communities and large cities alike. again and again i hear the same thing, southern illinoisans believe the army corps of engineers and the e.p.a. went too far rewriting the federal government's jurisdiction over waters of the united states. the federal government is claiming to have jurisdiction over small, private property waterways. the biggest concerns voiced by constituents were over the new areas that would become waters of the u.s. under the proposed rule, many ditches, small ponds, and low spots in fields could be considered within the purview of the federal government. farmers and growers already protect their waters. they need it for livestock,
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orchards, soybean, and corn fields. our nation's farmers are the first conservationists of our time. additionally, i'm further concerned about the lack of scientific analysis and economic outlook used to determine the scope of jurisdiction. our farmers, our landowners, our communities, and our country's waterways deserve better planning than this. they deserve detailed studies and thoughtful execution. our constituents sent us to washington to keep their best interests in mind. not to pile on more red tape in a blanket fashion. i urge you to join me and take into consideration those who will be affected by the proposed expansion of the e.p.a. and the core's power. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back of the the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis.
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the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. the e.p.a. is at it again. this time with an overly burdensome rule that would expand their reach and power to regulate under the clean water act. i have heard from road builders, home builders, and small businesses who are kerpped about this overreach. in particular, farmers in my district, farmers in my district are very concerned this rule could add new permitting requirements for farming abivities like irrigation ponds and drainage ditches. that's right, the e.p.a. the same agency that released the personal and private information of livestock producers is now telling farmers just trust us when it comes to this new rule. there's a trust gap between the e.p.a. and the agricultural community, and one of my priorities is trying to bridge that gap. instead of this proposed rule, the e.p.a. and corps of engineers should engage with
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states and local governments to produce a more commonsense approach to regulating our waterways. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back of the the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: it's my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. jolly: i rise in support of the legislation and opposition to the e.p.a.'s waters of the u.s. rool. i represent a district that lies between the gulf of mexico and tampa bay surrounded by water. prone to flooding and storm runoff. like. coastal communities this is an important issue. e.p.a. issues can be divisive. we know that. but they need not be. my message today is not one of anger, it is simple commonsense. we can do better. the e.p.a. can do better. and the corps can do better. this is not a debate over clean water.
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everybody in this body supports clean water. but this is a debate over the expanded jurisdiction of a federal agency and the current overreach of that agency. in this case, this legislation is opposed by a variety of interests from agriculture to shopping centers to chambers, home builders, manufacturers, transportation interests. but very importantly like counties and by mayors. like many in my district who spoke to me in august. we are called as members of this body to represent our communities. let's do that today. let's represent the interests of our communities. this is not a moment for washington knows best because washington does not know best in this case. mr. chairman, we can do better. in this case let's send it back -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: it's now my pleasure to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the chairman of the agriculture committee, mr. lucas. mr. lucas: thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: i rise today in
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the t of h.r. 7 -- 5078, waters of the united states overreach protection act. the environmental protection agency is once again seeking to overstep its authority and we are here to remind them of the balance of powers. this year e.p.a. proposed a rule to redefine the waters of the united states under the clean water act. this rule expands federal control of land and water resources across the nation. this rule will trigger an onslaught of permitting and regulatory requirements to protect not our great natural resources but rather our back beyond a reasonable doubt ponds and agricultural ditches. these requirements would exsend to every landowner, farmers, and rancher. what this means for farmers and ranchers is their normal business activities for the production of food would be subject to even more permitting requirements or faced with penalties. traditional conservation guidelines which once were voluntarily will become mandatory or the farmer will be subject to fines and vulnerable to lawsuits n this rule making, the e.p.a. assumes discretion
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never intended or granted by congress through which federal agencies would be empowered to make decisions and those decisions could be made in an arbitrary fashion. h.r. 7 -- 5078 blocks the agency from finalizing, implementing, and enforcing this rule. it preserves states' rights, ensures the obama administration consult state and local officials on any future proposal to regulate water under the clean water act. this is a noble cause and one that the agricultural community stands solidly behind. but this proposal is an underhanded way to harm american agriculture and threaten america's food security. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i now recognize the gentleman from nebraska for one minute, mr. terry. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized for one minute. mr. terry: i rise in favor of this bill and against the e.p.a.'s ditch rule. if this rule were to go forward,
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two things would occur. one, less clarity of what waters or jurisdictionally under the clean water act for our farmers and ranchers. and more overreach of jurisdiction by the e.p.a. this rule joins a long list of initiatives undertaken by the agency which would increase the regulatory burden on nebraska farmers, ranchers, businesses, and everyday citizens. in my state, multiple organizations banded together to fight this rule. the group calls itself common sense nebraska coalition. it includes folks you would expect. farmers, ranchers, but what's interesting is many others have heard about this and joined in the fight, including nebraska chamber of commerce, nebraska bankers association, county officials, resource districts, the water resources association, home builders, general contractors, and the rural and electric association have all joined this cause because of its uncertainty and massive jurisdiction under the e.p.a.
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now, my state supports this bill and i stand proudly with them. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i now recognize the former chairman of the judiciary committee, now the member of science and technology, the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, for one minute and 30 seconds. mr. smith: first of all let me thank -- the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: mr. chairman, first of all let me thank the chairman of the transportation committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, for yielding me time. science committee investigations reveal that the e.p.a. prepared state maps that showed the widespread impact of their proposed regulations. as you can see by the colored areas on this map, the e.p.a. plans to regulate nearly every square inch on the map. more detailed maps of every
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state can be found on our science committee's website, science.house.gov. the e.p.a.'s rewriting of the law is an unprecedented expansion of federal control over americans' private property and these maps make that clear. the waters of the united states regulatory overreach protection act stops the e.p.a. and protects americans and the president's drive to regulate private property. i thank the gentleman from florida, mr. steve southerland, for making the initiative on this bill and i thank the chairman again tore yielding me time. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from west virginia has 6 1/2 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from pennsylvania has 16 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my pleasure to recognize the gentleman from new york, mr. collins, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. collins: i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for
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yielding. mr. chairman, expanding the scope of waters of the united states is a dangerous expansion of authority, strongly opposed by the farmers in my western new york district. in may, i led a bipartisan letter with mr. schrader of oregon, supported by a majority of this house asking the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers to withdraw this overreaching rule. e.p.a. officials have testified that they realize this rule, as drafted, is confusing and needs modification, but they have refused to withdraw the rule and start over. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 5078, the bipartisan legislation that will address this problem, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from new york yields back his time. the gentleman from west virginia continues to reserve, and the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho. the chair: the gentleman from
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florida is recognized for one minute. mr. yoho: mr. speaker, i want to congratulate my friend and colleague, steve southerland, for crafting the waters of the united states bill. this important piece of legislation. mr. speaker, i heard from farmers, ranchers and contractors and even homeowners across my district and across this country. they've had enough of regulatory overreach by the administration and the e.p.a. as many of my colleagues have already stated, this bill will stop this administration from using a pen and a phone to unfairly target those who are the greatest stewards of our land, the farming and ranching families of this country. i urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation. government should facilitate businesses, not hinder them, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman. the chair: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. mr. stutzman: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank chairman shuster as well for bringing the waters of
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the united states regulatory overreach protection act to this body. mr. speaker, this administration has continually tried to expand the role of the federal government and the everyday lives of american families, and now they want to regulate all bodies of the united states, including ditches, pipes and even farmland ponds. after meeting with many of my constituents back home throughout the month of august, i know that my fellow farmers who i sat with in indiana and any other state don't want or need more regulatory overreach from washington, d.c. from irrigation for crops to water for livestock, farmers feed us and the world with this precious resource. this legislation is an opportunity to maintain the relationship between local and federal officials already established in the clean water act. i'd like to thank chairman shuster, ranking member rahall and the rest of the committee
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on transportation and infrastructure for their hard work on this issue, and i urge my colleagues to support this very important bill for rural america. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia continues to reserve, and the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. lamalfa: i want to thank the chairman for yielding me important time on this measure. we've seen the e.p.a. now try to claim jurisdiction of virtually every water in the united states, puddle or not, nave gattable or not, year round or just even seasonal in order to protect these waters, the e.p.a. claims it needs to control vast amounts of land surrounding these waters. now, the residents of my district in northern california are already familiar with this type of regulatory act. in california, the e.p.a. is already ignoring clear exemptions for farming
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activities that have been going on for years and years and are even in the law as exempt. this, in order to pursue massive fines against family farmers, simply for changing crops or maintaining their already man-made built irrigation systems. thus, in the process paralyzing farmers that are waiting months and months or even years to decide for e.p.a. or their cohorts in army corps to decide, can these legal activities continue to go on, otherwise they'll be subject to huge fines? this is a form of tyranny that is a gigantic overreach that needs to be stopped. that's why i support h.r. 5078 as a way to limit back to the proper role of the e.p.a. to regulate clean waters, not regulate every water dropped in the united states. i yield back. thank you. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield one minute to the
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gentleman from virginia, mr. hurt. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. hurt: thank you, mr. chairman. today i rise in support of this roguetory over-- regulatory jorche reach protection act. no one is more interested than this than our farmers, those who depend on clean water for their livelihood. last month i met with farmers across virginia's fifth district who expressed their concern about the federal government's unilateral expansion of the clean water act, far beyond that intended by congress. this will provide costs to farmers and the millions of american families that depend upon them. that is why i ask my colleagues to join me today in supporting this commonsense bipartisan bill to stop this administration's sweeping overreach on american farms. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i use the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for the remainder of the time. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i want to first commend the chairman of our transportation and infrastructure committee, mr. shuster, for bringing this legislation forward and commend the staff on both sides of the aisle for the work in producing this bill. i commend the gentleman from florida, mr. southerland, as well. this legislation is truly about giving the american people and giving our states a say in what is theirs and in the direction that they wish for their people within their borders. much has been said about the home builders support for this bill, the contractors support for this -- contractors' support for this bill and many, many other organizations. i have two quotes from the home builders and the associated general contractors. these individuals are on the ground. they know what the effect is, the day-to-day effect of policy
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that imnates or regulationes that are promulgated from our nation's -- nation's capital. these are people that provide jobs for our people. they're on the ground, on the front lines every day trying to provide jobs for our people and in an environmentally sound way, i might add, as well. mr. james tobin has written members of congress on behalf of the association of home builders and he says, and i quote, for home builders, this proposed rule adds confusion and increasesed cost and time needed to obtain a federal wetlands permit prior to home construction. the cost of this rule will increase the price of a home at a time when home construction is beginning to recover from the devastating effects of the economic downturn. many american families will be priced out of the housing market if this rule is finalized in its current form.
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that hits home. that hits home to the young people of this nation seeking to buy their first-time home. it speaks to those seeking to refinance their homes. it speaks to a key sector of our economy that provides jobs and provides a future for this country that many of our young people are looking to improve. the association of general contractors has written members of congress. their senior executive director, has said, federal government -- in support of this bill they have said that we must find a more predictable definition to clearly differentiate those waters that are regulated by the federal government from those that fall under the jurisdiction of the state and local governments. it's time that this e.p.a. -- end quote from his letter, by the way -- in my opinion, it's time that this e.p.a. recognize
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that our states do have a say in the future of regulations that affect people within their borders. unfortunately, we have seen too many instances -- as i said in my opening comments -- where this e.p.a. has overreached, it has reached beyond what its legal authority is in trying to promote an ideological agenda that is not good for the heartland of america, the true areas that have built this country and provided jobs for our people in the past and can ovide for -- jobs for people that is available without further intrusion from the e.p.a. so i conclude again, commend my chairman for bringing this bill forward and urge all members to support the pending legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia yields back his time, and the gentleman from
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pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i'll conclude and yield myself the balance of the time. first, i thank mr. rahall for working with us to come forward with a commonsense approach to stopping another grab by the executive branch. i also want to thank congressman steve southerland from florida who swrow deuced h.r. 5078. mr. southerland has been a leader on water issues since he arrived in congress, and as we've been talking about -- mr. rahall agrees -- this proposed rule would significantly increase the geographic scope of the federal government's authority under the act and is outside the bounds of what can be legitimately done by the rulemaking. it will also create uncertainty within the many industries in this country. the rulemaking proposed by the administration is yet another example of the disturbing pattern of this presidency seeks to use brute force to expand executive action while ignoring congress and the
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supreme court. i would urge all the members, all 435 members of this body to look seriously at this piece of legislation, what the administration is trying to do. the president tries to grab congress' legitimate constitutional authority. if you have any doubts on that, the supreme court twice rejected a rulemaking by the e.p.a. i think all 435 of us ought to be looking closely, whether it's a republican or a democrat administration and these power grabs by the executive branch. it's gone on for far too long, and congress needs to stand up and maintain its constitutional authority. this is a massive federal jurisdiction grab. 110th and 111th congress were attempts through various committees, through various amendments which were rejected on a bipartisan basis to stop this. 5078, introduced by our colleague, mr. southerland, simply prevents the e.p.a. and the corps from finalizing the
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ill conceived proposed rule and direction the agencies to consult with the states and local officials. that's the way forward. going back to our states and our local governments -- and they care as much or more about the waters in pennsylvania and west virginia and california and oregon than the e.p.a. does. this notion washington -- that washington has the greater concern, that washington has the better ideas, the one size fits all doesn't work and it's been proven time and time again. so, again, this stops the administration's proceeding. it has a path forward. i'd ask my colleagues to read all nine pages of this bill. if you get to the end you'll see there is a way forward and that is to consult with the states and locals to come up with a consensus rule that can result in reasonable regulatory process that protects our waters. so with that, mr. chairman, i support this legislation. i urge all members to vote in favor of h.r. 5078, and i yield back the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in house report 113-581. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for ivision of the question. the chair understands that amendment number 1 will not be offered. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-581. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. bishop: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will
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designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-581 offered by mr. bishop of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 715, the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment gets to the heart of the debate on this proposed rule. for months opponents of the proposed rule have made numerous claims about its impacts. yet, despite numerous efforts by representatives of the administration to answer these claims and to point out how many of these claims are simply false, we seem to go around and around again and again on these allegations. . my amendment simply addresses these concerns and claims saying that if any of them prove to be true, then the secretary of the administrator are prohibited from issuing any final rule that would bring about these occurrences. for example, opponents of the proposed rule have claimed that this rule expands the

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